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The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

Date: 04/23/2006 
Most people believe that the deadliest plague in history was the bubonic plague that killed 2 million victims a year. Actually the deadliest plague was in the 20th century and it was started right here in the USA.
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Hello friends this is Doug Batchelor. How about an amazing fact? Most people believe that the deadliest plague in history was the bubonic plague that killed 2 million victims a year. Actually the deadliest plague was in the 20th century and it was started right here in the USA. It was the influenza of 1918 that hit right after World War I. The war killed 9 million men in 4 years. But, this killer flu took at least 25 million lives in one year.

In the first year nearly 20 million cases were reported in the United States alone accounting for nearly one million deaths. That’s more than was killed during World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, probably the Gulf War all combined. It all started on the morning of March, 11th 1918 at Camp Funston, Kansas when a company cook reported to the infirmary with a typical flu like symptoms.

By noon 107 soldiers were sick. Within five days 222 people reported sick with many gravely ill from a serious pneumonia that became the gravest part of the sickness. Then reports started coming in from other military bases around the country. Within a week the flu was hitting isolated places such as Alcatraz and every State in the Union had been affected by this airborne killer.

In just two months it spread down to the South American States and crossed the Atlantic to Europe down to Africa and across the Pacific to China and Japan. The United States where the disease had started had the lowest death toll. But, 60 percent of the Eskimo population was wiped out in Gnome, Alaska. 80 to 90 percent of the Samoan population was infected and many of the survivors died later from starvation; too weak to even feed themselves.

Ocean liners would arrive in New York with 7 percent fewer passengers. The good news was that the disease seemed to peak within three weeks after showing up in a given city and then quickly subsided. In the end it was estimated that between 25 and 35 million people had died. Eighteen months after the disease appeared the flu bug vanished leaving us a mystery as to its’ source. That is until March 1997 when the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology found some specimens that 1918 Army doctors had preserved in formaldehyde. It appears it started in birds, passed to pigs and then to humans. These are the deadliest of all viruses because when the hearty pig immune system kicks into action; the virus is forced to mutate.

Both the deadly Asian flu of 1957 and the Hong Kong flu of 1968 came from mutated pig viruses. The scary part is that hog farms continue to breed pigs for food very close to populated areas. It could easily happen again and perhaps this is one of the many reasons that God said that people should not eat pigs.

Stay with us friends we are going to learn more as “Amazing Facts” brings you “Bible Answers Live”.

[PROGRAM INTRODUCTION]

Pastor Doug: Welcome listening friends to a fresh installment of “Bible Answers Live”. And we are glad even by accident, design or providence you have found us and you are listening right now and we hope you will stay with us right where you are for the next hour. We are going to be answering Bible questions. And as you can tell by the title of this program it is a live, International, interactive program. You are invited to call in with Bible questions. In North America this is a toll free call the number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS or 1-800-463-7297. You can also listen on the internet and even email us your questions. That would be at “Amazing Facts dot org”. And of course just enjoy listening and pray for us to do our best answering the questions.

And as always we like to welcome our friends who are joining us from around the world. My name is Doug Batchelor and Pastor Jean Ross who is normally my co-host is still in Africa and doing a mission project and we hope that you will keep him in your prayers.

Pastor Doug: And we’re going to pray for our program right now as we always do. Loving Father in heaven as we now embark on this adventure taking a safari through the Scriptures we pray the Holy Spirit will illuminate our minds. Be with me and I pray Lord that you will help me to remember the things that were said before in your word through the Holy Spirit and be with your callers who are calling in and those who are listening. That we all might be edified by directing our mind and attention to your word and we pray in the name of Jesus your son. Amen.

Well listening friends I hope that you found it interesting as I did that one of the deadliest plagues in all history was not something from antiquity like the bubonic plague or the Black Death, but just the last century with this killer influenza from 1918 that reached also into 1919 and you probably have heard a lot about the fears in the medical community of the fact there could be another deadly, catastrophic pandemic where avian viruses could be spread through the pigs, mutate and then infect humans. And I just could not miss this opportunity to remind our listeners what the word of God says about this. In spite of its’ popularity many people know that the Bible tells us that pigs are considered unclean for food and I have a feeling that if people were not eating pork they probably would not have pork slaughter houses near these populated area and they wouldn’t have the problem with the mutated viruses that come from pigs if they were all living out in the wild.

Let me read it to you friends from the Bible. It is Leviticus Chapter 11: 7 “Speaking of the animals that were unclean he said and the swine…” that’s the pig; the hog “…though he divides a hoof and he is cloven footed yet he chews not the cud and he is unclean to you and of their flesh you shall not eat. Their carcass you shall not touch. They are unclean to you” and furthermore God says that it is an abomination. And some listening are thinking oh Pastor that is a Jewish law and that is for Jews who cannot eat food that is not kosher. But, if you forget that and go back to the Ark of Noah in the flood; Noah was instructed to take all of the unclean animals by two and the clean animals by sevens. And shows us that Noah knew there were clean and unclean animals and it goes all the way through and back to the beginning. And even when you get to Acts Chapter 15: 20 the apostle Paul reiterates that these health laws were still in effect. And then we should be observing them not because we are saved by keeping a law, but because God wants us to be well. We have a book we have no offered in years and it is called “Hogs and Other Hazards” if you would like to know what the Bible says about this and then modern science confirms this is true. This is a modern classic and it is written by Joe Crews and I know that it will amaze you and the number if you want the resource number which is different than our studio number. To get this free book all you have to do is pick up the phone call this number and tell them you are listening to “Amazing Facts” and you want to get this offer. It is 1-800-835-6747 again 1-800-835-6747 and ask for “Hogs and Other Hazards”.

We want to welcome a radio station and we have a station that is KYDT 103.1 FM in Belle Fourche, South Dakota. We want to welcome you and if we have any listeners from this area pick up the phone and give us a call and we will try to give you some preferential treatment tonight. And I always like to take a couple of internet questions before we go to the phones. And so let me see here.

Question: Does the devil know what we are thinking?

Pastor Doug: Of course Jesus made it plain that the Lord knows what we are thinking before we even pray God knows the thoughts of men’s hearts. But, what about the devil can he tell what you are thinking? Well the Bible tells us that God and this is in 2 Kings Chapter 8: 39; God and God only knows the thoughts of men’s hearts. Now this is one of the proofs that Jesus was God’s son because frequently Jesus was able to read people’s minds and tell them what they were thinking. The devil might be able to place a temptation in our mind, but he cannot read that miracle of gray matter and how you are processing that. He might take an educated guess. But, he cannot see what you are praying about and it is alright to pray our loud as long as we are not doing it to get an audience.

Now the next subject is on the 144,000 of God’s sealed.

Question: Are these 144,000 from the literal twelve tribes of the children of Israel? Or is this symbolic?

Pastor Doug: And I can tell the questioner is asking a perceptive question because in the Bible it tells us that 9 or 10 of these twelve tribes were conquered long before Jesus was born and were carried off into captivity by the Assyrians and they intermarried and pretty much lost their identity as a distinct people. And then it tells us in Revelation that there is 12,000 from the tribe of Manasseh and 12,000 from Issachar and 12,000 from Gad and some are wondering are there 12,000 from these distinct tribes in these last days?

Well obviously not and friends you who are listening if you go back in your family history and family tree far enough because Jews have been scattered all over the world. That’s where you get the name wandering Jew. A lot of us have Jewish blood and so what does it mean then in Revelation when it says 12,000 from these different tribes?

I have a free book that I will send you that I have written and it is called “Who Are the 144,000?” If you want a free copy of that, but to quickly answer that question those twelve names that are given in Revelation. It’s the only place in the Bible that the sons of Jacob are listed that way in the Bible it talks about them in Revelation 7 and then again in Revelation 14 and that tells the story of salvation. Each of those Jewish names when you line up their meaning—the meaning of those names it then tells the story of God redeeming His church. And so go ahead and call the resource number and we’ll send you a copy of the “Who Are the 144,000” again that’s 1-800-835-6747.

Alright now you all pray for me because I am going to try to be a little schizophrenic again and be both Jean Ross and Pastor Doug and see if I can operate these telephones tonight. We’re going to start by talking with Adam calling from Spokane, Washington and he’s listening on 104.9 and your question Adam?

Adam: Yes at what time in history did the days—I learned in the Bible that days were just 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. At what point in time did the words actually Friday and Saturday come into play?

Pastor Doug: That’s a good question. We’re going to bring your volume down a little because we’re getting a hum, but if you go by the Bible the days of the week always have a number attached to them rather than a name. Now true Sunday was sometimes referred to as the Sabbath and that’s a name. The sixth day which we commonly call Friday was sometimes called the preparation. But, when did we get these common Roman numbers? Well at about the same time that the Christian world converted over to the Roman calendar and there have been several versions of the Roman calendar.

There’s a Julian calendar and now we are operating under the Gregorian calendar. And that affects the months and they began to gradually adopt the Roman names for the week. Because the Romans had conquered the world these were Latin names and the Latin based languages that you find in Europe they began to call them the day of the sun, and Monday in Spanish it’s Lunis which is the word Luna for moon day. Tuesday was troi, Wednesday was odensday, Thursday was Thor and so they got these names from a Hodge podge of Latin and Scandinavian gods. That was probably adopted about the 5th or 6th century when they began to more commonly use these names. Adam does that help a little bit.

Adam: It does. Thank you.

Pastor Doug: Alright. Thank you very much and appreciate your question. We’re going to move along here and talk next to Jonathan in Monterey, California. Welcome to the program.

Jonathan: Hi Pastor Doug how are you?

Pastor Doug: Good and your question?

Jonathan: My question is about Paul in Romans Chapter 7: 15 to 20.

Pastor Doug: Okay.

Jonathan: Just considering about his simple nature was it before his conversion or after?

Pastor Doug: I think Paul was describing the battle for our friends who are listening and some are driving down the road. This is the place where Paul describes the battle between the spirit and the flesh. And he goes on and says in verse 24; well I‘ll go to verse 23 “But, I see another law in my memory bearing against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity of the law of sin which is in my members. 24 Oh wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Now when Paul says “but with the flesh the law of sin” that doesn’t mean that he had thrown his hands in the air and said I’m going to go ahead with my body and serve sin. He just meant that the body is controlled by fleshly desires. It doesn’t mean he gave into that when you read the next verses in Romans Chapter 8 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.” Everybody listening Jonathan has the battle between the spirit and the flesh. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane said “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” But, what makes a Christian a Christian is we’re not led by the flesh, but we’re led by the spirit. We still have the flesh and still war against the flesh. And Paul put it this way “Sin should not have dominion over us.” Our walk is the spiritual walk and that means our behavior is led by the spirit not by flesh.

Jonathan: Okay.

Pastor Doug: But, so Paul is describing I think in Romans 17 that we all feel--in Romans 7 rather. And I think he was converted in Acts Chapter 9 and I think his conversion was genuine and deeply rooted when he was first converted, but he still faced that battle. Okay?

Jonathan: Well that answers my question because some people were saying that if you are truly converted you don’t have these battles, but you know.

Pastor Doug: Well converted people walk after the spirit and not the flesh, but that doesn’t mean they don’t war with the flesh.

Jonathan: Yes. Okay.

Pastor Doug: As I said Jesus was tempted, but He didn’t sin. Jesus was warring against the flesh in the Garden of Gethsemane. Every believer has these carnal desires and it can be anything from our appetite to our pride and those are considered.

John talks about the three primary sins—and this are 1 John Chapter 2: 15, 16 & 17 “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.” Those are all of the carnal aspects of our nature that are warring against the spirit.

Jonathan: Okay yes that makes sense.

Pastor Doug: Okay?

Jonathan: Thank you very much.

Pastor Doug: Thank you a good question. Okay we’re talking next to Todd who is calling from Dallas, Texas and listening on 88.3. Thank you for your call Don.

Todd: Hey Pastor Doug how are you today?

Pastor Doug: God blessed and your question?

Todd: Yes sir my question is related to Mark 16: 16 when Jesus says anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. And I grew up in an area that is very highly Catholic. And I have lots of friends who used to debate me on this issue. My viewpoint is I guess that baptism the way that we see it is Christ dying in yourself and then Christ raising you from the dead and living your life through Him. Well what more can I tell them to let them know that baptism is not necessarily for salvation and that Christ here is not talking about being dunked in water, but dying in your flesh and—

Pastor Doug: Yes some people believe that we are saved by virtue of a ritual and I think that is what you are saying. And it is not just some of our Catholic friends who believe this. There are Protestant Churches that teach because of this verse in Mark that there is not going to be anybody in heaven that was after the time of Christ that wasn’t baptized. But, you have got a predicament if you are saved by the ritual then how were all of the Old Patriarchs and Kings saved?

Todd: Exactly.

Pastor Doug: And furthermore you notice what Jesus said and His words are interesting “He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned.” You notice He doesn’t say he that believeth not and is not baptized. Believing and baptism contribute to salvation. But, refusing to believe is the only thing that totally disqualifies you from salvation.

Todd: Okay.

Pastor Doug: Belief is essential. I would say that baptism is as important to salvation as a wedding ceremony is to loving you spouse. The wedding ceremony is very important to having a spouse. But, it doesn’t make you love your spouse. People get baptized for the same reason that people get married. It’s a public declaration of the commitment and the love. Why a person who is a believer would not want to be baptized is a mystery to me.

But, you know if you are interested or anybody who is listening. “Amazing Facts” has a free book that deals with the subject of baptism. It’s called “Baptism is it Necessary?” It is right up your alley “Baptism is it Necessary?” go ahead and just call 1-800-835-6747 and we will try to send one of those on to you Todd or anyone who is listening or wrestling with the same question.

Moving on now to line number 8 and Annette listening from Castle Rock, Washington listening on 3ABN radio welcome Annette to the program.

Annette: Hi thanks for having me. I have a question for you and in John 12: 32 Jesus says “And I if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men to me.” And in His very next text He’s talking about His crucifixion. But, I have always additionally believed that is our mission for the gospel you know Jesus should be lifted up in everything we do anyway I was reading Isaiah 6 when it talks about his vision where he saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up. And I just wondered if those two texts have anything to do with each other and how we should lift Him up?

Pastor Doug: Well that’s a good question. The word lifted up means typically exalted in the Bible. Jesus I believe was using that two ways. Of course when He was crucified He was lifted up on the cross. But, even more than that he was exalted after He was crucified He was lifted up into heaven during the ascension. When we preach Jesus crucified lifted up in crucifixion and lifted up in heaven because He is there interceding for us then people are converted. Christ is lifted up and people are drawn and of course the key is that Jesus directs us to the story in the Old Testament where these people were dying from these venomous serpents. They made a bronze serpent put it on a pole and God instructed them to do this. Those that looked at this serpent and it was a serpent that had been slain basically on a pole and I just need to remind our friends that this was a Nation of Shepherds they all carried shepherd staffs. They frequently killed snakes that could harm the sheep or the goats. And when they killed them they lifted it up with their staff. You don’t grab a dead snake with your hand. And they would carry it off to some safe place and discard it. So a snake on a pole represented a defeated serpent. Christ on the cross represented the end of the serpent.

Do you remember in the Garden of Eden Annette that the prophecy was that the serpent’s head would be bruised. And then you go to Revelation and it tells how Michael cast that old serpent out of heaven. So all of this is part and parcel of that teaching there in John. Are you still there? Does that make sense?

Annette: Yes I was just—I just wondered if in Isaiah there is just so much holy, holy, and holy and woe is me I just wondered if it had something to do with reverence in addition to exalting?

Pastor Doug: Well it certainly does and you know you are talking about one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I wrote a whole book “To See the King” based on Isaiah Chapter 6.

Annette: I read it.

Pastor Doug: Oh you read it bless your heart. And I also think that if Christ is lifted up meaning if He is exalted and His purity is extolled that it will also have a converting and drawing influence. I hope that helps a little bit and thanks for your question.

We’re going to see if we can get in one or two more before we take our break. And talking now to Rick in El Cajon, California listening on KPRZ welcome Rick.

Rick: Hello Pastor Doug. I feel like I know you.

Pastor Doug: Well thank you for your patience.

Rick: That’s alright my question is I know the Roman Emperor Constantine changed the Saturday Sabbath observance to Sunday and I was wondering why?

Pastor Doug: Alright that’s a good question. What was happening was that Constantine was a brilliant leader and something of a politician. Up unto Constantine Rick the Christian religion and the Roman Empire had been categorized as religio- illicit deo or illicit forbidden religion. They were forbidden as well as the Jewish religion to practice of it because it was so much associated with Judaism. But, as the religion started to spread and you know about the catacombs under Rome that they were feeding them to the lions and the more they tried to stamp out religion the more the church grew and Constantine realized they are really not hurting anybody and it is a peaceful religion so it was a political maneuver to appeal to the Christians to form a stronger empire and meld the pagans and the Christians together and he then said let’s all recognize the first day of the week as the official day of rest while we still embrace the fundamental teachings of Christianity. Of course over time more and more paganism found its’ way into the Christian church. But, that was the motivation behind it. It was a political move to try to bring peace and unity to the kingdom because keep in mind that Constantine was beginning to be attacked and pressured from the Empire of Rome from the barbarians in the north and that is why he moved the capital of Constantinople and renamed it after himself. So it was to weld the kingdom together for solidarity and he tried to compromise the two religions and one of the things he did was to move the Sabbath day to the first day of the week.

By the way in that book the Da Vinci Code they surround the fantasy of that book with historical facts and that is one of the historical facts they get right in the book.

I wonder if I have time for another real quick question here. I am going to talk with Greg who is listening from Pierre, New York on 570 AM. Welcome Greg we just have a couple of minutes before the break and your question?

Greg: Thanks for having me on and my question is whether salvation is guaranteed because it says once we are saved it is sealed in the book of the lamb forever. Can we lose our salvation?

Pastor Doug: Well I always like to answer that question with a question. Do we have a choice in following Jesus? Do we get to choose? Well that is what I am saying do we get to choose about following Jesus?

Greg: Yes.

Pastor Doug: We get to choose in following Him and I agree with you and I think you are right. That would also mean that we could choose not to follow Him. And there are examples in the Bible of people who have chosen to turn away from the Lord. And that is why you have statements like Hebrews Chapter 4: 6 and people like Judas who was following Jesus he betrayed Him and King Saul who was following the Lord and turned away. Balaam was a prophet and he gave up his faith. But, thatdoes not mean that as a Christian we cannot have assurance as we look to the Lord Day by day. But, the idea that once you are saved you cannot be lost really means you lose your freedom of choice. So I hope that helps a little and friends we are going to take a break now. This is not the end of the broadcast we just have some important things to share with you and it gives our station a chance to identify them and in the meantime we hope that you will take advantage of this and hop onto the internet and go to “Amazing Facts dot org” you will find a lot of incredible resources there and a number of free offers if you’re a teacher for your library and we’ll be right back.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

Pastor Doug: We’re back friends and if you’re just tuning in you are listening to “Bible Answers Live”. And this is just as we say it’s a live, International, interactive Bible Study and if you have any questions we’ve got several lines open. That number is 1-800-GOD-SAYS that’s 1-800-463-7297 if you give us a call now you have a fairly good chance of getting your question on tonight’s broadcast. My name is Doug Batchelor and I have an important announcement for you. Those of you who are believers and are listening have no doubt heard some of the stir that is surrounding this block buster, best seller book called the DaVinci Code. And in my opinion there is a very insidious premise to this fiction book and yet many people are treating it like it is fact. And that is that the Bible has been fabricated or altered and cannot be trusted. That Jesus actually had an affair with Mary Magdalene or she was His mistress or wife and they may have even had a child together. And of course all of this is totally bogus. But, yet people believe it because this book is written in such a way as the story is surrounded with elements of truth. And very soon they are going to make a film. They will be buying some of the most powerful talent in names I Hollywood with the entire state-of–the–art special effects. The seductive music, the fast-action and it is no doubt going to have an impact on people’s faith as the central premise as Jesus really was not pure. He had an affair with Mary and the Bible can’t be trusted. Well it is hard for me to just sit on the sidelines when people are attempting to smear the name of the one I love the most.

I spent about eight years writing a book and I spent more time on this book than any other because it is one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible on Mary Magdalene. The book was released about four years ago and was a best seller then. We are re-issuing this book with a beautiful new cover, a new edition, a new title especially to debunk the fallacies of the Da Vinci Code. And it is called “The Truth about Mary Magdalene” the book is all about Mary Magdalene and Jesus and the entire Bible record and history that really gives the truth. And the way it is written it is a beautiful story.

There’s seven times in the Bible that Mary Magdalene is at Jesus’ feet. And the story of Mary is one of the most beautiful microcosms that teach the plan of salvation. You can read it yourself or share them with people that might be going into the theater or as they are coming out of the Da Vinci Code movie. We have a website it’s called “Mary Truth dot com” and if you will go right there to this website you can see how to get a hold of this book to strengthen your own faith and as a witnessing tool to help combat this effort that is being made to no doubt erode the faith of some susceptible people.

Having said this about that I also want to mention to make sure to jot down “Amazing Facts dot org” and you’ll notice if you Google “Amazing Facts” we’re on the first page because we get a lot of visitors that use our resources. We’re going back the phones and Michael has been waiting patiently. So Michael is calling from Lake Placid, Florida and listening on the internet welcome to the program Michael.

Michael: Good evening.

Pastor Doug: Good evening thanks for waiting.

Michael: Yes my question was I wanted to know if it is a sin to vote for a leader or a President that is known to be in a Secret Society. It has worried me because I heard Bush in his books admitted to being part of the skull and bones society. And I was worried if this was a sin because I voted for him or about future elections.

Pastor Doug: Well that is a good question. Well first of all if Christians do not vote then what you end up with is that only unbelievers are voting and they begin to define society so I think it is important to vote. Sometimes you are faced with a situation where a Christian must choose between and I have heard it expressed this way you have to hold your nose and vote. And it is like you have to choose between the lesser of two evils. And I voted in the last election and men are imperfect and you want to vote for someone who you think will uphold the ideals of the country, the Constitution and addition of morality from a Christian perspective. And so using that criterion if we look for someone who we feel like thinks exactly like us then we’ll only vote for ourselves and we won’t be happy still. So you know it is an imperfect world and I had never heard anything about Bush being a part of a secret society. Be careful about what you read because there are all kinds of—I heard that Ronald Reagan was a beast because he had six letters in each of his three names. And you’ll hear all kinds of strange things circulate about the Presidents and I wouldn’t take that too seriously. Does that help a little Michael?

Michael: Yes it did about the book though. It’s a book that he wrote.

Pastor Doug: I have never heard of a book that President Bush wrote what’s the title of it?

Michael: I can’t think of the name of it. I saw it on the news and he was quoted and he said I can’t talk about it too much because it is too secret. And I was just wondering about it.

Pastor Doug: You know what I think you actually hear that from his lips there is a lot of stuff I heard on the internet today that Bill Gates is waiting to give me a billion dollars. Honestly somebody emailed me that and I have that email a hundred times. There are all kinds of things that circulate and people will say it is just on the news today and it sounds so real and I don’t know that George Bush has ever written a book. He is not a writer. He might have a ghost writer that has written something for him, but anyway I hop e that helps a little with the Bible question.

Let’s move on along and hector calling from Nantucket, Connecticut. Hector welcome to the program.

Hector: Hi how are you Pastor Doug?

Pastor Doug: Good and your question tonight?

Hector: My question is in Revelation Chapter 9: 15 especially it talks about this great army. Who is this army and where it is coming from? I see a lot of Pastors they spend a lot of time on other Revelation, but this is intriguing to me.

Pastor Doug: Well alright first of all keep in mind that Revelation is written with a number of symbols that tell truth. When you read in Revelation 17 for instance about a woman sitting on a scarlet colored beast with seven heads and ten horns you and I both know that that woman does not really ride around the heavens. Correct?

Hector: Right.

Pastor Doug: That woman is a symbol. If you read in Revelation 9:16 it talks about this army in verse 17 “I saw the horse in this vision.” Well you know when God tells us about Elijah up in heaven chariots and horses of fire came down. That is typically a group of angels. Sometimes God’s angels appeared as a heavenly army and they thought of them as chariots and horses of fire. God probably doesn’t gallop around in heaven on horses. Each of these visions of Peter are meaning God’s army. Now if you read in the book of Joel it talks about the judgments that will come in the last days. And it uses the language of this incredible army. Here it has a number 200 hundred thousand, thousand. Well that’s one of the biggest numbers in the Bible.

If you’ll look in Daniel Chapter 7: 10 a fiery stream issued and came forth before Him and thousands and thousands ministered unto Him. Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him and the judgment was set and the books were opened. So these phenomenal numbers sometimes refer to these heavenly beings.

Let me just give you something to talk about. God often talks about His angels as being like stars. If every person has a guardian angel and there are six billion people in the world today. That means that there are at least six billion angels. Does that make sense Hector?

Hector: Absolutely.

Pastor Doug: So when John in a vision sees the army and remember in Matthew when it says He comes with all the angels, not just some of them. All of the angels; can you imagine what that will look like?

Hector: Impressive.

Pastor Doug: Yes so I think you are getting a picture here in Revelation Chapter 9 of the army of God. Unfortunately when we get questions about some of the apocalyptic prophecies in the Bible; Ezekiel, Daniel, Revelation and people will say Pastor Doug can you explain Chapter 4 of Ezekiel? Not in three minutes. You know these are very deep and big studies and Chapter 9 is one of those Hector. You know we have some studies of Revelation online and you may have looked at those already. But, if you go to the “Amazing Facts” website “Amazing Facts dot org” and we have some free Bible studies on Revelation and even in an advanced study series you might find some more answers to the Revelation questions there. Hope that helps a little bit.

And okay going to Ezekiel who has been waiting patiently from Lake Placid, Florida listening on the internet and Ezekiel you are on the air.

Ezekiel: Yes hi Doug How are you doing?

Pastor Doug: Good your question?

Ezekiel: Yes my question is I have been studying about these three angels in Revelation now in Chapter 14.

Pastor Doug: Another Revelation question okay.

Ezekiel: I think that is very interesting and Revelation 16: 8, I went through 6 & 7 and I am in verse 8 it doesn’t really give you a lot of information about the second angel’s message here. But, I am just wondering this Babylon is very interesting and it seems like it a woman and the church, but is it a literal church?

Pastor Doug: You’re on the right track. Well first of all before I give you a brief answer and one of my frustrations in this program is to get as many calls as we can we just try to budget about three minutes to give a quick concise answer. We have a study guide that gives more detail and I want you to write this down please. Called “The Other Woman” we’ll send this to you for free. It is all on Babylon now let me give you a quick answer. Call 1-800-835-6747 and ask for it.

If you read in Revelation 18 along with Revelation 14 in Revelation 18 it tells about another angel that says “Babylon is fallen is fallen come out of her my people.” To understand the subject of Babylon you need to know a little Old Testament history. Babylon is the part of Mesopotamia where Iraq is today. Abraham brought his wife from Babylon to the Promised Land. Later Isaac got his wife from Babylon—she was delivered I should say to the Promised Land. Jacob went back to Mesopotamia and got his wife and brought her to the Promised Land.

The children of Israel were unfaithful God’s bride. They were carried to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar and after seventy years they got comfortable there. When God allowed them to go back to the Promised Land they didn’t want to go. Many of them they said we have been here 70 years we’re comfortable, we’ve got families, we’ve got homes. And God said come out of Babylon because I am going to destroy it. So when you read in Revelation Babylon is fallen come out of her my people. It’s talking about the false religious systems that paganism where they have been captive and in the last days Babylon and her daughters she is identified in Revelation 17. A lot of good Godly people; they are God’s children and have been caught in these false religious institutions and they have been blinded by the wine of Babylon, God is calling them to come out into the truth and be a part of the 144,000 and get the seal of God.

Ezekiel: I had come to that really that it had to be the different churches and denominations and it sounded just like that.

Pastor Doug: Well you’re on the right track and send for that lesson and it’s free. Matter of fact others listening if you’d like a free copy of that it’s called “The Other Woman” it’s got an amazing cover and full of facts with full color study guide. Just call “Amazing Facts” on the resource number it is a toll free call 1-800-835-6747. Alright and thank you very much for your question Ezekiel and next we are going to go to Santiago is calling in KPRZ that’s San Diego, California. It is Garth I am sorry Garth are you on the air?

Garth: How are you doing Bob?

Pastor Doug: Well you can call me Bob. That’s alright I am Doug, but I called you Santiago, but that’s because they put San Diego next to it and your question?

[Laughter]

Garth: My question is about when you were talking about the uncleanness of eating pigs. And my understanding was we weren’t living under the old laws anymore that once Jesus came back we don’t have to follow the law.

Pastor Doug: Well that’s true. We are not living under the old ceremonial law. But, the question was; were the ceremonial laws part of the health laws that had to do with the sanctuary? And I would submit that they are not. Would you like some reasons?

Garth: Sure.

Pastor Doug: Well you probably heard me briefly mention at the beginning of the program that the health laws are first noticed not during the time of Moses but all the way back to the time of Noah. And when the animals are brought into the Ark Noah is told there are distinctions between clean and unclean animals. Then of course you know that all through the time of Moses and the Jewish dispensation that there is not an argument there, but unclean animals were unclean.

When you get to the New Testament in Acts Chapter 10 Peter has this vision where a sheet drops down out of heaven full of unclean animals and God says arise and eat. Now this takes place about 3 years after Jesus has already ascended into heaven. And Peter says not so Lord I have never eaten anything common or unclean. Now why is it that Jesus says it is alright to eat anything that is unclean when none of the apostles had ever eaten anything unclean? And after the sheet drops down three times Peter never takes anything out of the sheet and eats it. He then is wondering what this vision means and God tells him not to call any men unclean. The vision had to do with taking the gospel to the Gentiles and nothing to do with food. And then if you get to Acts Chapter 15 the Gentiles were still told to observe the laws of not eating anything strangled or blood. Now those are two good health laws. So the bottom line is with all due respect set the Bible aside.

If you ask any honest doctor they are going to tell you the most dangerous animal you can eat-- and I used to be a butcher before I was a Pastor—is a pig because they tell you to cook it well to kill all of the trichinae larvae because it is dangerous. Pigs are scavengers. And their flesh is really rife with all kinds of things and you’ve really got to—that’s why they deep fry bacon to try and kill all of the bacteria, but they are scavengers and our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and they were never to bring an unclean offering into the temple. And if our bodies are the temple we shouldn’t be eating the unclean foods.

Now most people in America we don’t eat unclean food. We don’t eat skunk or cock roach or buzzard or most of the things that God said are unclean. You know clean foods are goat, sheep, cow, chicken, turkey. But, the pork is the exception and people need to know that it is very dangerous and it is not healthy it’s very high in salt, sodium and very high in fat. It takes the longest to digest and not good for your heart. Of course it is filled with cholesterol and Muslims won’t eat it. Jews won’t eat it and I don’t think Bible Christians should eat it either.

Garth: Hmm. That’s very interesting. I’m a Christian and I am a wild boar hunter so I have lots of pig and I was under the understanding it was alright now.

Pastor Doug: I don’t want to ruin your sports life, but I do need to tell you what the word of God says. Would you like a copy of our free offer?

Garth: Actually I just called for that. It’s odd because I have a freezer full of that stuff so it is kind of alarming when I am hearing this.

Pastor Doug: Well I will just let the Holy Spirit work with you on that one. You read what it says in the Bible just go by the Bible because you will find preachers that will tell you it doesn’t matter what you eat but, when you think about it. Are you a parent?

Garth: Yes I am.

Pastor Doug: Do you care what your children eat?

Garth: Of course.

Pastor Doug: You know some preachers say as long as you pray over it, it doesn’t matter what you eat. If your kids said dad today we are going to have an ice cream sundae and cover it with sugar and just pray over it would you accept that?

Garth: Of course not.

Pastor Doug: Because you know you cannot mock God whatever you sow you reap. And the facts are in that pork is not healthy even though they are doing a campaign now called the other white meat. You probably have heard that before?

Garth: Oh yeah.

Pastor Doug: A lot of people are giving up pork because they know it is not healthy and so it is kind of counter advertising. They are trying to get people to eat more and make sure they make it look like it is healthy, but it is not. The white meats are typically your fish and your chicken. Pork might be white in color, but it is not a lean meat it is sodium, carcinogenic ridden stuff! It is not good! Anyway ask me how I feel. I hope that helps a little bit Garth and I am saying that because I care. I used to eat the stuff frequently and I like I said used to be a butcher and you cannot get USDA pork because it is just not the US Department of Agriculture thing except to print pamphlets and tell you to cook it real good to kill all of the larvae. Okay now I probably ought to get onto something else.

Next we’re going to talk with Mike who is calling from Brooklyn, New York. He is listening on our station WMCA welcome Mike to the program.

Mike: Thanks Pastor Doug. My question is concerning Matthew Chapter 27: verses 51 & 53. Actually it is a two part question is we to take those verses literally and if they did actually happen those events, it would seem such an extraordinary events would be mentioned by the other gospel writers and they are not. And I was just wondering about that.

Pastor Doug: Well let me read this for our friends who may not have a Bible at hand. Matthew 27: 51 & 53. 51 “Behold the veil in the temple was rent in twain from top to bottom and the earth did quake and rocks rent.” That means broke. “And the graves were opened and the bodies of the saints that slept arose. And came out of the graves after their resurrection and went to the holy city and appeared unto many.”

Now are you wondering that the other gospel writers don’t mention this? And so you are questioning the validity of it?

Mike: Yes.

Pastor Doug: Well if we use that logic there are different aspects of Jesus’ ministry that all four of the other gospel writers mention that others leave out. Luke says a lot of things that no one else mentions. John says more than anybody that hardly any of the other gospel writers mention.

If you were in my church when I am preaching and I give you a camera and then you pass the camera to someone in another part of the church and then someone else and all of you take a picture you are all going to get a different perspective if you are taking a picture of me; the same preacher. You all would get a different angle a different lighting, different shadows. I’d be in a different position and the picture would be from your perspective. And the reason I mention that is because we televise our services and there are four cameras. And they are all getting a different angle.

And in the same way the gospel writers were people and there are different aspects of Christ’s life that really stood out. Keep in mind at the end of the gospel of John, John says, “Jesus also did many other things that there is not enough room to mention and the world cannot even contain the books.” So the writers had to pick the miracles that they talked about because there were so many. I mean that would be a really unique problem. But, you look at the life of Christ and it says that sometimes He went through a town and there wasn’t one sick person there because he had just performed so many miracles. So Matthew mentions this and Mark, Luke and John not mentioning this well there were other things that they thought were more important and miraculous about the resurrection and the final events that they did mention.

Mike: Right I was just seeing this event of such an extraordinary nature that I figured it would be mentioned. But, I did not see it.

Pastor Doug: Well you know what they were also faced with is something I am also faced with. In that there are so many amazing things they had to say that they had to limit their time. Mark’s gospel is very short. Luke’s is the longest then Matthew and then John and then Mark. And so Matthew just took more time and the other thing you want to ask is who were they speaking to? Matthew’s gospel and the things he chose to speak to were specifically for the Jews. Luke was talking to the Gentiles and Mark was also talking to the Romans who were very active and he would give a very aggressive gospel. And John was addressing the humanity of Christ of His sacrifice rather. So it’s the different dimension that they are coming from.

I am going to see if we can get a couple of more questions in here. Well let’s try Tim calling from Hendersonville, Tennessee on WDNX welcome to the program Tim and thanks for waiting.

Tim: Thank you Brother Doug I was calling about the process by which the New Testament were solidified can we be sure that the books that are in our New Testaments that were in our new Testament are the books that should be there?

Pastor Doug: I think the most important question is, are we sure there is nothing in there that shouldn’t be in there? In other words if you had to maybe lose a little bit of milk in the straining process, but you knew everything you were drinking was pure; I’d prefer that. In the same way I think that we can be confident that the 27 books that were selected by the scholars are divinely inspired. Does that mean that God did not speak through anything else? No, I think He did. I think God has spoken and there may be some other aspects, but the books that were chosen were chosen based on their coordination with the other books in the New Testament or the Old Testament. For instance in the book of Jude he refers to Peter. In the book of 2 Peter he refers to Paul. Paul refers to Peter there is a mutual endorsement of the books that are included in the Bible and there is a harmony and an agreement. Some of the apocryphal books Tim in other words the dubious books they are not sure of; they seem to appear out of nowhere and they are not supported by any other New Testament writer. They never acknowledge their existence. And so the scholars wondered well how do we know that that wasn’t manufactured after the fact and you know we know for a fact that there have been some books that people have fabricated and then they pick them up and say look what I found? And there is absolutely no historical record of anyone ever reading it before.

We have a book that we can offer to you on the Bible and it is called “The Faithful Witness” it addresses the dependability of Scripture and something about how it was assembled if you would like a free copy of that. Also Tim at the “Amazing Facts” website we have a monthly magazine or I should say a bi-monthly magazine and I have an article in our magazine on the Bible. If you would like to go to the “Amazing Facts do org” website you can read it right there online. You can download the whole magazine as PDF and for our listening friends if you want to request a complimentary subscription to the Amazing Facts magazine just go to “Amazing Facts dot org” and we will be happy to send you a copy of that. I hope that helps a little bit Tim. The engineer is telling me not to take another call because I might make them mad and not be able to give them enough time.

And in our last moments together friends I always like to in a graceful way try to remind you that this is a faith based ministry. You have no doubt heard this said in many ways on many Christian programs. I wonder how to say it so people can really hear the earnestness. We are only here because of the people touched by the Holt Spirit and they say I will support that ministry I have been blessed by it and I have been edified. And today I am going to do something. I am not just thinking about it I am going to make a donation to keep “Amazing Facts” on the air. We’re on radio, we’re on TV and we’re doing mission work around the world. We are publishing we are doing training we are doing everything we can that can be summed up into evangelism. If you want to know more about “Amazing Facts” go to the website. It is a tree that branches out in many directions providing free resources for you as well as other things. “Amazing Facts do org” God willing we will be back next week. We want you to remember that Jesus is the truth that will set you free.

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